The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerful missionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.
Friday, June 13, 2008
A Faith-Filled Friday the 13th
We've all heard the phrase "Friday the 13th" uttered with a hint of impending doom, or at the very least, bad luck.
Well, I've never espoused that notion -- and once again, the great faith of the Missions confirmed my instincts in that regard.
The proof positive came as I was uplifted and inspired by more from our New York director, Sister Pauline Chirchirillo, PBVM, as she continues her visit to Zambia. Here's what she wrote to me, on Friday the 13th of June.
"Today is Friday the 13th and it has been a most wonderful day. We went to a village in the bush called Makunka; the name of the parish there, Holy Childhood, and it is funded by the Holy Childhood Association (HCA). They also have a clinic for the children in nearby villages. I felt like Queen Elizabeth! The women and children from the surrounding villages came to greet me and thank me for the work and money given to them by young people through HCA in the United States. They did a beautiful song and dance welcoming me, and then one to say goodbye in which I joined by dancing with them! It took us two and a half hours to get to that village which was only 35 miles away! After that we visited one of the women and we saw the hut she lives in, the little houses in which the chickens are kept, and her garden. On the way back to the car, there were about 15 cows that came running towards us to go to the lake to get a drink of water.
"Father Bernard (our host, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Zambia) and the Presentation Sisters in Livingstone have been just wonderful, accommodating me in every way. Tomorrow morning we will be leaving at 8 for an eight-hour drive back to Lusaka. Yesterday morning we took a break from work for an experience of a lifetime -- a visit to Victoria Falls. It was absolutely beautiful, and we got so wet despite the fact that we were wearing rain ponchos. We looked like we fell in the river! That's all for now. Love to everyone."
Sister Pauline's commentary filled me with great gratitude -- to all who work in diocesan mission offices to tell such stories of hope and faith found in the Developing World, and to all who support, in prayer and sacrifice, the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies around the world. Stay tuned -- more inspiring, faith-filled Fridays are surely in store, no matter the date.